New NBC stations boss John Wallace is emphasizing hyper-local coverage as he outlines a strategy for the 10 NBC-owned stations in his fiefdom. "It’s our intent to have a bigger presence in niche communities," he said this morning, "and get away from general news."
Wallace stressed the significance of "local portals" on the Web that cover topics such as health, entertainment and sports on an ultra-local level. He cited Digphilly.com, the social networking site launched by NBC station WCAU Philadelphia last spring, as the model. Digphilly.com offers a spartan home page with links to the categories Learn, Do, Share, Find and Shop.
As he meets with his G.M.s, Wallace says he’s urging them to play up the local flavor on-air and online. "There are a lot of unique qualities in each marketplace," he says. "There’s a major reliance on their local expertise."
Each station’s product, he says, will have a very different look and feel. That differs vastly from the Fox approach, where the relaunched Websites offer a uniform look and interface.
Wallace declined to offer insights into whether NBC will be buying or selling media properties. "It’s my first day," he demurred. "I’m still trying to find the bathroom."